<
>

Syafiq Ahmad 'committed' to Kedah for Malaysia Cup final, despite JDT link

play
Behind scenes drama of 2015 Malaysia Cup final (2:15)

ESPN FC's Jason Dasey gives an inside look at the 2015 Malaysia Cup final as Selangor were crowned champions for the 33rd time. (2:15)

Striker Syafiq Ahmad says he is fully committed to Kedah ahead of the 2017 Malaysia Cup final against Johor Darul Ta'zim (JDT) at Shah Alam Stadium on Saturday night.

Syafiq was pictured with JDT boss TMJ only two weeks ago, suggesting that he could be on his way to the Southern Tigers for the 2018 season.

But the young forward pledged his allegiance to the defending champions after starting the final Malaysia Super League game against JDT, which ended 0-0 last Saturday.

Syafiq says he will hold no punches if he gets the opportunity to try and deliver Kedah's third trophy this season.

"I am contracted to Kedah and my full commitment is with them. There's no doubt about that," Syafiq told ESPN FC.

"We want the trophy to remain in Kedah, and the Malaysia Cup has always been our priority. Now that we are one match away from defending it, we will not let it slip."

Misi 3 tahun berturut-turut ke Final

A post shared by syafiq28 (@syafiq_ahmad) on

The 22-year-old has already featured in two finals this year.

He was a substitute as Kedah won the FA Cup final against Pahang in May and came off the bench for Malaysia as they narrowly lost the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games final to Thailand in August.

Syafiq was an unused substitute in last year's Malaysia Cup final triumph against Selangor, but saw second-half action in the 2015 defeat to the same opponents.

Having just played JDT, he predicts that the final will be a balanced affair.

"JDT have good players in every position, and we have quality players who can be game changers. For me, both teams have an equal chance to win," Syafiq said.

"The key factor for me would be pure focus. If we keep our heads up throughout the game, we can win."

Victory would affirm Kedah's reputation as Cup kings, having clinched the Charity Shield, FA Cup and Malaysia Cup over the past two seasons since earning promotion in 2015.

Capturing a unique treble would mark a perfect end to 2017, and encourage some key personnel to remain with the club.

And retaining the trophy would also give Kedah the impetus to make an impact at next year's regional AFC Cup.

They cancelled each out this year in both their league games in 2017.

Apart from last Saturday's stalemate, January's Charity Shield -- a game that also served as the season opener, saw a 1-1 draw at Larkin Stadium before Kedah won on penalties.